“Great park with a good frisbee golf course.”
#1 in Arbutus Ridge
4590 Magnolia Street
In 2010, Vancouver Sun columnist Barbara Yaffe wrote that “Quilchena is a park that’s green and clean and screams Vancouver”, and that’s pretty much its appeal in a nutshell.
But it’s more accurate to say it screams a certain type of Vancouver: that sort of expansive, genteel, lightly rolling tree-lined paradise that evokes the sort of aspirational middle-upper class Englishness that permeated the city as it evolved, particularly on its west side.
None of that is to disparage Quilchena, a wonderfully peaceful park that takes up several city blocks near Arbutus and 33rd. In fact, it’s one of the six parks in the city we gave a B or B+ to in all four categories, such is its pleasant mix of amenities and atmosphere, with well-designed areas for sports, exploring, hanging out — or just lying on the hillside and watching it all pass by.
There’s the requisite field space in the middle of the park, but it’s very lush grass, and it’s surrounded by a gentle slope on the north and east that provide very nice views. Along that gentle slope are washrooms, a skatepark, an off-leash dog park, and a hidden disc golf course among the trees — none of which are amazing, but all of which do a very good job. And the Arbutus Greenway on one side and large trees on the other makes the park feel fairly removed, even if it is close to two relatively busy streets.
There’s walking paths everywhere, and at the bottom of the slope on the northwest side there’s a Hellenic Garden, and while it has a bit of an underdeveloped feel, it integrates well with the adjacent Greek Orthodox church, and there’s no such thing as a bad immersive art experience.
Ironically for all its old world charm, Quilchena is one of the newest large parks on the city’s west side, only coming into existence in the 1950s and 60s after the city purchased the land from CP Rail, which had previously leased it for a golf course.
Call it another case of Vancouver being more manufactured than you think — or another case of the city always knowing how to make wonderful parks.